Back to Top Skip to main content

Multinational surgeons participate in first robot-assisted surgery onboard USNS Mercy

Surgical staff assigned to Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy for Pacific Partnership 2018 and the Sri Lankan surgical team from Base Hospital Mutur connect the probes of the Da Vinci XI Robot Surgical System to a patient during the first robot-assisted surgery while aboard the Mercy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams) Surgical staff assigned to Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy for Pacific Partnership 2018 and the Sri Lankan surgical team from Base Hospital Mutur connect the probes of the Da Vinci XI Robot Surgical System to a patient during the first robot-assisted surgery while aboard the Mercy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams)

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Military Hospitals and Clinics

TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka — U.S. and partner nation service members participating in Pacific Partnership 2018 and Sri Lankan surgeons, assigned to Base Hospital Mutur, conducted the first ever robot-assisted surgery aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy on May 4.

The joint team of multinational surgeons and medical professionals successfully completed a cholecystectomy, or gall bladder removal, using a Da Vinci XI Robot Surgical System on a Sri Lankan citizen. This surgery marked the first time the Da Vinci Robot has been used on a live patient aboard a maritime vessel from any country.

“This was a historic moment for both Sri Lanka and all the partner nations participating in PP18,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Gadbois, director of surgical services aboard Mercy who is a native of Mukilteo, Washington. “Not only was this the first time the Da Vinci XI Surgical System has been used on a patient while aboard a ship, but it also marked the first robotic-assisted surgery to be conducted in Sri Lanka. It was an exciting experience and I am thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of this ground-breaking moment for the surgical field.”

Navy Cmdr. Tamara Worlton (right), a surgeon assigned to Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy for Pacific Partnership 2018 and Dr. Vyramuthu Varanitharan (left), a Sri Lankan general surgeon at Base Hospital Mutur, Sri Lankan from Base Hospital Mutur, discuss robotic surgery techniques during the first robot-assisted surgery on a patient while aboard the Mercy using the Da Vinci XI Robot Surgical System. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams)Navy Cmdr. Tamara Worlton (right), a surgeon assigned to Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy for Pacific Partnership 2018 and Dr. Vyramuthu Varanitharan (left), a Sri Lankan general surgeon at Base Hospital Mutur, Sri Lankan from Base Hospital Mutur, discuss robotic surgery techniques during the first robot-assisted surgery on a patient while aboard the Mercy using the Da Vinci XI Robot Surgical System. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams)

Prior to the actual surgery on May 4, Gadbois, along with Dr. Vyramuthu Varanitharan, a general surgeon at Base Hospital Mutur, and Navy Cmdr. Tamara Worlton, a surgeon from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center assigned to Mercy for PP18, ran through simulation exercises using the Da Vinci XI Surgical System on a mock patient and finalized surgical plans as a team.

“This surgery took a lot of planning before we actually performed it aboard the Mercy,” said Worlton. “Dr. Varanitharan was kind enough to prescreen possible candidates prior to the Mercy’s arrival to Sri Lanka.”

On April 28, the team selected a patient who needed a cholecystectomy and was willing to have a robotic-assisted surgery performed. According to Worlton, all the preparation and collaboration put into planning before the operation paid off and the entire surgery was completed in a smooth and routine manner.

“I believe the surgery was a success because of the continuous collaboration between our partner nations’ medical staff prior to the surgery where we discussed different surgical techniques the different countries do and how it could be incorporated into the surgery.”

The surgery marked an additional first for Dr. Varanitharan, as this was also the first surgery he has conducted aboard a ship during his entire medical career.

“This was the first time I have ever operated aboard a ship before and it surprised me,” said Varanitharan. “It is very stable and doesn’t move around. It felt as if I was doing surgery in an operating room in a hospital. It was a fantastic experience to have been able to do surgery on a hospital ship and it is something my team and I will never forget.”

After the surgery was successfully completed, the patient was transferred to the Mercy’s post anesthesia care unit to recover and was later discharged from the ship in excellent condition for her routine post-operative follow up care by Varanitharan. 

Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral disaster response preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. This year's mission includes military and civilian personnel from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Peru, and Japan.

USNS Mercy made previous stops in the 2018 mission in Bengkulu, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and are currently in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. After departing Sri Lanka, USNS Mercy will make mission stops in Vietnam and Japan strengthening alliances, partnerships, and multilateral cooperation throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

Pacific Partnership 2018 consists of more than 800 U.S. and partner nation military and civilian personnel working side-by-side with host nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian aid and disaster response situations.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.        


You also may be interested in...

2018 Medical Support Operations Conference

Photo
4/11/2018
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery spoke at the 2018 Medical Support Operations Conference in London, delivering remarks on the defense sector's role in advancing the Global Health Security Agenda. A partnership of more than 60 nations, the Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA, brings together the unique roles of governments, industry, NGOs, academia, and international institutions to combat infectious disease threats. “We are up against a perilous rise in infectious disease outbreaks threatening the health and safety of our citizens, as well as threatening geopolitical stability,” stated McCaffery, emphasizing that global health security is an essential part of our national security. “The bottom line is that defense and security sectors have a real opportunity to use the GHSA framework to increase collaboration and converge our unique assets across all sectors to detect and defeat disease at the earliest possible moment," McCaffery said.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery spoke at the 2018 Medical Support Operations Conference in London, delivering remarks on the defense sector's role in advancing the Global Health Security Agenda. A partnership of more than 60 nations, the Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA, brings together the unique roles of governments, industry, NGOs, academia, and international institutions to combat infectious disease threats. “We are up against a perilous rise in infectious disease outbreaks threatening the health and safety of our citizens, as well as threatening geopolitical stability,” stated McCaffery, emphasizing that global health security is an essential part of our national security. “The bottom line is that defense and security sectors have a real opportunity to use the GHSA framework to increase collaboration and converge our unique assets across all sectors to detect and defeat disease at the earliest possible moment," McCaffery said.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

2018 Visit to U.S. Africa Command's Command Surgeon

Photo
4/11/2018
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery visits U.S. Africa Command's Command Surgeon and team to discuss the strategic context of global health in advancing shared security objectives with partner nations across the region.  The Department of Defense recognizes that Global Health Engagement activities play a key role to advance U.S. troop operational readiness, build interoperability, and enhance Security Cooperation.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery visits U.S. Africa Command's Command Surgeon and team to discuss the strategic context of global health in advancing shared security objectives with partner nations across the region. The Department of Defense recognizes that Global Health Engagement activities play a key role to advance U.S. troop operational readiness, build interoperability, and enhance Security Cooperation.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Secretary Shulkin talks with Providers about Prosthetics

Photo
4/28/2017
David J. Shulkin, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland, April 27. Shulkin, who visited the medical center for the first time, spoke with various providers throughout the facilities to learn about the medical care given at the hospital.

David J. Shulkin, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland, April 27. Shulkin, who visited the medical center for the first time, spoke with various providers throughout the facilities to learn about the medical care given at the hospital.

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | DoD/VA Sharing Initiatives

Secretary Shulkin meets service dogs Walter Reed

Photo
4/28/2017
David J. Shulkin, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland, April 27. Shulkin, who visited the medical center for the first time, spoke with various providers throughout the facilities to learn about the medical care given at the hospital.

David J. Shulkin, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland, April 27. Shulkin, who visited the medical center for the first time, spoke with various providers throughout the facilities to learn about the medical care given at the hospital.

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | DoD/VA Sharing Initiatives

Secretary Shulkin tours Walter Reed

Photo
4/28/2017
David J. Shulkin, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland, April 27. Shulkin, who visited the medical center for the first time, spoke with various providers throughout the facilities to learn about the medical care given at the hospital.

David J. Shulkin, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland, April 27. Shulkin, who visited the medical center for the first time, spoke with various providers throughout the facilities to learn about the medical care given at the hospital.

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | DoD/VA Sharing Initiatives

Secretary Shulkin visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Photo
4/28/2017
David J. Shulkin, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland, April 27. Shulkin, who visited the medical center for the first time, spoke with various providers throughout the facilities to learn about the medical care given at the hospital.

David J. Shulkin, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland, April 27. Shulkin, who visited the medical center for the first time, spoke with various providers throughout the facilities to learn about the medical care given at the hospital.

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | DoD/VA Sharing Initiatives

ENT Palau medical care

Photo
11/3/2016
Anthony Tolisano, chief resident with the Tripler Army Medical Center's Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, inserts tubes into a child's ear drum to drain the fluid build-up in his ear. Tolisano was in Palau as part of a mission requested by the Palau Ministry of Health to provide specialty care to the people of the island nation. (U.S. Army photo by William Sallette)

Anthony Tolisano, chief resident with the Tripler Army Medical Center's Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, inserts tubes into a child's ear drum to drain the fluid build-up in his ear. Tolisano was in Palau as part of a mission requested by the Palau Ministry of Health to provide specialty care to the people of the island nation. (U.S. Army photo by William Sallette)

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Walter Reed Bethesda terrain park

Photo
11/1/2016
The new terrain park outside of the Military Advanced Training Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center provides another means for Walter Reed Bethesda physical therapists to simulate uneven terrain for their amputee patients without having to go to specific destinations to do so. (DoD photo by Mark Oswell)

The new terrain park outside of the Military Advanced Training Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center provides another means for Walter Reed Bethesda physical therapists to simulate uneven terrain for their amputee patients without having to go to specific destinations to do so. (DoD photo by Mark Oswell)

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics

FBCH Emergency Room

Photo
11/1/2016
Fort Belvoir Community Hospital Emergency Room (U.S. Army photo by Reese Brown)

Fort Belvoir Community Hospital Emergency Room (U.S. Army photo by Reese Brown)

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics

U.S. Government Global Health Security Agenda Partners

Photo
1/29/2016
U.S. Government Global Health Security Agenda Partners

Recommended Content:

Pandemic Diseases | Global Health Engagement
<< < 1 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 10 Page 1 of 1

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.